West Lothian woman is ‘one of Scotland’s youngest breast cancer survivors’ – Edinburgh Live

An inspiring West Lothian local - who also tragically lost her mum to breast cancer - is one of Scotland's youngest breast cancer survivors.

Nicole Little, who was diagnosed aged just 27, has been chosen as the face of a campaign to save lives and is launching World Cancer Day in Scotland.

The woman from Bathgate is now urging people to unite on February 4 to support those affected by cancer, by making a donation to Cancer Research UK or wearing the charitys Unity band.

Nicola, who works as an ambulance dispatcher, witnessed the cruel disease claim the life of her mum Celine Mason at age of 32, when she was just seven, before battling it herself, reports the Daily Record.

Speaking about her mum, Nicole said: Most people are lucky enough to grow up with a mum but I was so young when cancer took my mum away.

I still miss her every day and when it was me in the hospital room being told I had cancer, my first thought was for my mum. I feared at first it was like history repeating itself.

I said to the doctor: Thats what killed my mum.

But the doctors quickly explained there have been huge advances in treatment for breast cancer since my mum went through it in the 1990s. Theyre so much better at treating breast cancer today thanks to research, something which gave me hope. Now I want to support research, not just for me and for future generations but in honour of my mum too.

On July 11, 2019, Nicola was given a shock triple negative breast cancer diagnosis at St Johns Hospital, after discovering a lump in her right breast.

The young woman hoped to become a mum one day and started IVF treatment at Edinburghs Royal Infirmary Hospital to stimulate the production of 14 eggs which were then harvested under sedation and frozen for the future.

On august 12 after undergoing surgery to remove her tumour, Nicole was told that she carried the faulty BRCA1 gene, which is known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Brave Nicola went through six chemotherapy sessions which started on September 9 and meant that Nicoles long blonde hair fell out. But she said dad Andy (53) was her rock.

Nicole said: Dad helped me shave off my hair as it was coming away in handfuls every time I went for a shower.

At times I felt angry with my life but my dad was brilliant. At night when I couldnt sleep hed get up with me and wed talk. Other times wed just sit and do a jigsaw together. I felt like a child again. Dad is bald. Hed say to me: I always told you, bald is beautiful.

Nicole was also supported by her best friend of 21 years Kelsey, who she met on Nicoles first day at Balbardie Primary. Nicole started at the new school following the death of her mum.

Nicole said: The first thing I ever said to Kelsey in the classroom on that first day was, Hello, my name is Nicole and my mums just died.

It was quite an introduction but Kelsey looked after me from day one. Years later after wed grown up and Kelsey lost her own mum Christine to lung cancer aged 52, I was there for Kelsey. And when I faced cancer, Kelsey was right there for me again. She made me a glass jar full of inspirational quotes. Every day I had the chance to pick out a quote from the jar. It made a big difference. She really has proved my guardian angel- not once but twice.

On January 19 last year, Nicole had her ovaries removed and on March 28 last year, just days after lockdown across Scotland started, Nicole had surgery to remove both her breasts followed by reconstruction. Incredibly Nicole is now back at work after going into remission.

She added: Going through cancer made me realise how lucky I am to have people in my life who love me. Thats why I want everyone in Scotland to mark World Cancer Day. Just by wearing a Unity band or making a donation, everyone can help make a real difference to people with cancer.

Every year, around 32,400 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland and Cancer Research UK expects to see its fundraising income decline by a staggering 300m over the next three years, which could put future breakthroughs at risk.

World Cancer Day is an international initiative, uniting people around the world on February 4 to beat the disease.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: Covid-19 has hit us hard, so we are very grateful to Nicole and her family for their support, for helping to underline the stark reality of the current situation.

Our research has played a role in developing eight of the worlds top 10 cancer drugs. Were working every day to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. But we cant do it alone.

By donating to mark World Cancer Day people in Scotland will be funding world-class research to help more people survive. Together, we will beat cancer.

Donate or get a Unity band online at cruk.org/worldcancerday

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West Lothian woman is 'one of Scotland's youngest breast cancer survivors' - Edinburgh Live

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